Fear: The Rooted Trick Of Doubt

All the talent in the world will not insulate you from moments of doubt. The best well written outline will not save you from doubt. All the writing challenges, writing sprints and applications for NaNoWriMo will not save you from doubt.

But here is something that you need to not just understand, but to know: a doubt unchecked becomes a rooted fear.

A doubt–unchecked–becomes a rooted fear.

As a creative person, especially a writer, you will encounter these moments where the words won’t come, or they cannot come. These types of doubts are normal. However, when the doubts which are not worked through become fears.

A fear in something irrational, or unproven in some cases.

In the years by which I have been at this craft, learning and trying to do it better, the main three fears which occur in the life of writers are can be summed up here:

1.) Fear of Launching.

2.) Fear of Criticism.

3.) Fear of Vision.

Let me explain a little further.

This writing will always require faith in yourself–above anything else.

The Fear of Launching will run the space out of a computer, jump drive or notebook. It will keep you second guessing, nervous and believing it is good enough to just write! This fear will keep you as a hamster on a wheel.

How you defeat this: Write and begin to share you work. Find a writing group. Find a free platform. If you are a minority writer, these writer groups are essential. Writing in community helps.

The Fear of Criticism will send keep you thinking that you work will have no audience. That you will not be successful. This fear will paralyze your talent: it will stop you from writing or sharing your work! This fear will be apparent especially in the beginning–and must be handled afresh with every project.

How you defeat this: Write. Write scared. Write everything that you think you want to read! Remember these two quotes.

“If there is a book you want to read, you must write it.” -Toni Morrison

“A real writer can write anything.” -Christopher Priest

Write because you know you can.

The Fear of Vision will keep you from branching out into the world. It will keep you stifled and stymied into a genre either you want to change, or expand. As a writer, you must become comfortable in seeing what other people cannot see. Don’t be afraid of what you see, or want to see! That is the nature of this craft–we create what we see, that other people can’t see, in order to make the world is little bigger or smaller.

How to confront this: Write what you want to write, and not what other people tell you to write. Find the genre that makes you happy, that speaks to you, and write what you want. Write the things you want to see.

*Tune into The Writers’ Block Podcast during the month of October to find out more tips and tricks on making doubt work for you.

Encouragement Pages-10/07/2019

Writers who don’t write are a different sort of person.

And there is a special kind of terror that overtakes when you are a writer, and for one reason or another, you cannot write.

This is wrapped up around time.

This also shows itself in the crippling fear of thinking that you can’t do it.

This also is the fear the tells you no one is ever going to read it and you have nothing to say.

To those of my tribe that come here for inspiration, whom are unaware of the writer-self that lay within.

Today, I ask you to examine. And be honest with everything you see inside of you. If you have no urge to write, if words are not your charge, then I ask you to leave it where it is.

Leave it where it lay.

If writing is not what you want to do, do not do it.

If it is something that you cannot be without, do it often.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

We Are Live: The Desk Of JBHarris (YouTube)

At long last, the YouTube channel is live and there are videos being ported over from Instagram to their new home on YouTube!

The name for the channel: The Desk Of JBHarris

The Vision for this channel is:

The Desk Of JBHarris is a place to discuss writing, its processes, resources and encouragement for novice writers! I believe writing is both discipline and art. I also believe writers need a community to gather support, tools and encouragement. As a dedicated bibliophile, book reviews and TBR lists will be discussed! I even do the One Minute Word (O.M.W.) every Wednesday!The goal is to be a soft place, give resources and remind them to you writing still needs magic. #HappyWriting

Click here to subscribe!

Encouragement Pages: 10/04/2019

Fear of writing is this.

Forsaking Energy Against Risks.

Remember this as you write today. Writing is a risk. It will always be a risk! When you take something from your head, and push it thought the kinetic fury of your hands, that is a risk.

Plotting and planning cannot compensate for everything. Although, that is a good strategy. But, as trust the wisdom of Nora Roberts:

“You cannot edit a blank page.”

Don’t let the fear win, beloveds.

Write. And keep writing.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages: 10/02/2019

What would you write if you were never afraid?

What you would write if you believed you could?

What would it be like to write without fear?

Today…use that fear—and write anyway.

Today, I want you to channel the apprehension, the doubt, the fear of failure and create. After all, writing is alchemy! You are changing something that is not into something that is.

Fear is the roadblock to creativity. But if you harness it? You can grab stars.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

What Are You Afraid Of?

Picture it.

You. Blank pages. Full pens. Battery? 100%

You have all these lovely, deviant, dark, horrifying, sexy, funny ideas in you head. Yet…you doubt if you can write them down.

Where did all that faith go?

Where did all that passion fall to?

Where is your motivation?

First, don’t panic.

Second, ignore it.

You heard what I said. Ignore the doubt. You do this by writing anyway. This is the mystery of writing! You have to be willing to be two things:

  1. Available
  2. Okay with being uncomfortable

As a writer, you need to be okay with being uncomfortable. One of my writing/snark heroes is the incredible Luvvie Ajai. She was hesitant in embracing the title of writer as well. It can be heavy; there are certain connotations that come along with it. There are demands, expectations, joys unprecedented–but doubts that you may have never known.

So, when I ask you the question, what are you afraid of? I have asked myself the same thing. With every new project. With every Work In Progress. On every blog post. On every thing I write.

Herein lies the rub: not every writer has the same doubts. Or will have the same way of dispelling them. However, the doubt as I said earlier this month, keeps you humble. It keeps you working at your craft. It keeps you learning–it is never to paralyze you.

Don’t let the doubt paralyze you.

What is in you head, can be pushed through your hands.

You can do it.

Write.

The Things That Keep You Up At Night

Yes, it is October!

Thirty days of chills and fears that will culminate in what my writer friend calls Goth Christmas (Halloween). But this month we will be focusing on the scary parts of writing and how to overcome them.

Also! As an added treat, the host of Nightlight: The Black Horror Podcast will be doing an interview with the podcast later this month! Tonia Thompson, the creator and founder of Nightlight has been running this platform for almost three seasons. I think that her insights on writing, especially as a horror writer by trade, will be unique. Her perspective? Needed.

I consider Tonia a resource and a trusted writing friend. And in the immortal words of Tananarive Due, “Black people have always loved horror; horror hasn’t always loved us.”

Find out more about Tonia and Nightlight, or to know how to support, the podcast as part of the Nightlight Legion, please click here.